Dead Irish Blues
Dead Irish Blues is a mostly acoustic folk music act based seasonally in Johnstown, PA (April - November) and Memphis, TN (November - April) and features champion fiddler Marty Faiers and guitarist/singer Greg Faiers. Performing together since 1997, Greg and Marty began touring in 1999 and now embark on 3-4 tours per year with an expanding range from the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida westward to Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Colorado in addition to shows in Pennsylvania.
Marty was born in Texas and raised in Arkansas. She took up the fiddle in her teenage years, inspired by Texas swing fiddle and Fayetteville area icon Frankie Kelly. By the 1980's, after moving to East Tennessee, she was getting awards at bluegrass fiddle competitions. During this time, Marty performed on stage with Del McCoury, Vassar Clements, and John Hartford. In 1993 she took first in the bluegrass fiddle competition at the Galax Old-Time Fiddler's Convention, then took first in twin-fiddle (with Mary Hardy Roberts) at Union Grove, NC (1994). In 2000 she got first in bluegrass fiddle at the Maury River Fiddler's Convention while also being named the "Best All-Around Bluegrass Performer" there. In addition to bluegrass fiddle, Marty has a love of Texas swing and Celtic styles as well.
Greg was born and raised in Memphis, TN and lived in Louisiana for years. The blues traditions of both areas were absorbed, largely from jamming in Baton Rouge blues bars with the likes of Larry Garner, Tab Benoit, Kenny and Raful Neal, and Tabby Thomas and appearing with the Phil Brady All-Stars at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival in 1994. After moving to Virginia in 1995, Greg met Marty, took up the acoustic guitar, and Dead Irish Blues was born in 1997. In addition to the guitar, Greg also plays the bouzouki, octave mandolin, tenor banjo and is a certified kazoomeister. The musical influences for Greg's song-writing range from early 20th century musicians like Charlie Poole and The Memphis Jug Band to more contemporary artists such as Tony Joe White, Jerry Garcia, Kinky Friedman and Steve Earle.
In PA, Ed Hritz and Wayne MacEwan,both of whom have been involved in the Johnstown area music scene for sometime, are bandmates. Both joined the group in 2004. Ed has performed in rock bands in the past and more recently had been performing in Celtic groups in the area. Wayne had been a band-mate of Ed's prior to joining DIB and brings a strong Scottish influence into the band
Jimmy Crosthwait plays washboard with DIB for most the Memphis gigs. Jimmy has played with Mudboy and the Neutrons (with Jim Dickinson, Sid Selvidge, and Lee Baker) and recorded with many Memphis area acts (including the North Mississippi Allstars).